Bristol tech firm awarded £2.4m grant to fund ground-breaking research

A Bristol business has been awarded £2.4m of funding from the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology to develop a unique high performance computer system designed to tackle some of the biggest issues facing society.

The Centre for Modelling and Simulation (CFMS), an independent digital engineering Research and technology organisation based in Bristol, will use the funding to design a unique computer.

The project aims to help industry fast-track solutions for pressing global challenges, particularly climate change.

These range from accelerating the pace of addressing major sustainability issues such as hydrogen technology, to advancing pioneering energy projects including harvesting solar energy from space.

Sam Paice, chief executive of CFMS, added: “Technology has a vital role to play in helping us deal with major and complex societal challenges, and finding solutions demands a novel and dynamic form of computing. With this funding, we’re poised to deliver a computer system that can cater for a wide spectrum of problems, keep pace with the relentless march of innovation and be flexible enough to manage extremely complex technology.”

Science, Innovation and Research Minister, Andrew Griffith, said: “The UK is renowned for its world-class research and development and as technology advances faster than ever, our £39m Research and Innovation Organisations Infrastructure Fund is ensuring more ambitious teams have the tools to drive cutting-edge innovation in a competitive landscape for years to come.

“Projects like the Centre for Modelling and Simulation’s high performance computing system can help to pioneer solutions to complex, global challenges like climate change that benefit us all, while boosting the local economy with more highly skilled jobs.”

Simon Galpin, Airbus Filton’s head of site, added: “It’s great to see investment in new computing approaches at CFMS, helping to facilitate much needed research and development in digital technologies.”

The announcement follows investment secured by CFMS from the UK Space Agency’s Space Cluster Infrastructure Fund last year for a pioneering pilot data centre capability for next generation space engineering, robotics, simulation and AI.

Sam Paice concluded: “The funding we’ve secured in recent months and the support we’ve received from industry is a ringing endorsement of our expertise in cutting-edge technology such as AI and digital engineering. It’s great news for CFMS, the South West and the UK as a whole.”